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When the hurricane’s record storm surge swept through Eyebeam's ground floor, it left behind three feet of saltwater mixed with sewage and corrosives. In a single day, Sandy claimed over $250,000 worth of AV equipment, computers, and books. Among that wreckage was an archive of analog and digital media chronicling Eyebeam's fifteen years of experimental art and technology. Disaster became the impetus, and Eyebeam’s plans to secure a collection stored on unstable formats now had critical urgency.
As an artist in residence already filming a documentary on digital archiving—and having recently addressed Eyebeam's collection of media art history in conversations with New York City’s conservationist community—I was compelled to participate in Eyebeam’s archive recovery effort. Just days after Sandy, I was in touch with Kara Van Malssen and Chris Lacinak, media conservation professionals from AudioVisual Preservation Solutions, and Eric Piil from Anthology Film Archive, who rushed to the scene to help Eyebeam implement a system for stabilizing 1275 items.
By promoting our triage effort through social media, we mobilized a volunteer army of archivists including students from NYU's MIAP program, conservators from MoMA, Rhizome and Heritage Preservation. In under two weeks we have inventoried all the submerged DVDs, VHS and Beta cassettes, Mini DVs, and digital storage media, all of which are now in preparation for transfer to servers. Eyebeam now hopes to make the entire collection accessible online in the coming years, working with AV Preserve to develop a long-term preservation strategy.
We hope Eyebeam's recovery will offer a lesson for other institutions: to secure their archives before a natural disaster or gradual obsolescence renders the media unrecoverable.
"The Optimization of Parenthood" is a robot arm which reacts whenever a baby placed in the bassinet cries or awakes from sleep. Developed by Addie Wagenknecht of NORTD Labs as a "speed project" during a one-week residency at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University.
Mothers are often expected to be full time parents. This is sometimes due to lack of options, the cost of childcare or the lack of family support. As a result, the mother often loses the very creative practice she has spent an entire life building. Being a stay at home parent without help is literally like having four full time jobs in a row, all the time, without weekends or evenings off. And yet, if a women was to spend 24 hours a day doing anything else, all the time, without stopping, people would think she was insane. Parenting, for whatever reason, is exempt from this insanity.
In order to optimize as much of the routine tedious monotony of parenthood as possible and make it an option for all women to have both her creative work and children we must optimize the process of parenting. The automatic repetitive task can be transferred to other devices, without affecting 'the development of the baby'. This frees the mother to do their creative work without having to factor or budget for the high cost of childcare or feel she is pigeonholed into the role because it is simply 'a women's nature'.
Developed with support from the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University
Created at the Digital Fabrication Laboratory (dFab), CMU School of Architecture
Technical Assistants: Madeline Gannon
Video and Images by Jonathan Minard (@deepspeedmedia)
WifiTagger is a device to tag wifi networks. It can broadcast up to four lines of 32 characters. Upon selecting a tag as your network, you can tag the wifi spectrum via the WifiTaggers open UI. Tags will be viewable within the list of wifi networks for anyone within the routers range. WifiTagger lets anyone with a wifi enabled device tag digital space.
Cast: Addie Wagenknecht